September 15, 2020
John 6:66-68
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

New International Version (NIV)
 Do you have an exit strategy?  Melanie and I have been watching a number of shows together over these months.  One is called Heartland.  It is mostly about horses and a little about people.  We have watched a lot of horses in these days.  When we finished eleven seasons of Heartland, we asked our kids, what is good?  It turns out, not much is good. 

We were watching a show the other night about a lead character who is like Houdini, always getting away from the bad guys.  Then in a climactic scene he runs from an enemy right into a laundry room.  He didn’t need my help but  I started looking for a window.  Alas there was no window.  He had no way out.  Just when all seemed lost, he escaped through the dog door.  Different strategy, to be sure, but it worked.  Out of curiosity, do we have an exit strategy to walk away from God?

Jesus and his ministry grew in popularity in proportion to how much he fed the people.  Everybody followed Jesus after he fed them.  But when he explained, “I am the bread of life . . .” many of them headed for the door.  Jesus surveyed his remaining followers to ask if they wanted to walk away from him too.  The way he asked the question assumed they did not.  Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”  Good question.  If you leave the incomparable God, to whom will you go?  But Peter does not say, “You serve the best bread and fish anywhere.”  His rationale is better, “You have the words which give us eternal life.”

My friend John Neesley encouraged me this morning with this great thought:  “Only the eternal One can grant everlasting blessings that temporal problems cannot nullify.”  Food is for a moment.  Jesus is for forever.  Hold on to him.  We need him more than we realize.  He came into the world through an entrance marked, “No entrance,” and left through a door marked, “No exit.”  Whatever we face today, he is enough.  No exit strategy needed.  Don’t run from God but to him!  He, alone, is our refuge!
Pray with me:         
Father, thank you for Jesus, the Word who speaks life-giving words to us and over us today.  When we hear your voice today, let us not harden our hearts.  Help us to want you more than we want what you can give.  Let your kindness and goodness lead us closer to you than we have ever been.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.    
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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